Production niggles hit output at brake disc maker

Merseyside supercar brake disc maker Surface Transforms says ‘small production disruptions’ are slowing the ramp up of output on its £290m order book. Tony McDonough reports

Surface Transforms
Surface Transforms makes carbon fibre brake discs for high performance cars


Supercar carbon fibre brake disc maker Surface Transforms (ST) has told shareholders that ‘small production disruptions’ were continuing to hold back a ramp up in output.

At its factory in Knowsley, ST produces brake discs for high performance cars. Customers have included Porsche, Ferrari and Nissan. It is currently supplying brake discs for the Aston Martin Valkyrie which retails at £3m apiece.

At its AGM on Tuesday, shareholders of stock market-listed ST were told by chief executive Kevin Johnson that manufacturing output continues to improve but has not yet reached target levels.

Sales for the six months to June 30, 2023, are expected to be approximately £3.3m (H1 2022: £2.9m) representing an overall increase of 14%. 

Within this total, the volume of manufactured discs during the period increased by more than 80%, reflecting the improvements made in production during 2023. The remainder of the sales in both periods is pre-production development income.

In April the business reported that it enjoyed “exceptional commercial success” in 2022. However, profits continue to elude the automotive supplier with production issues in late 2002 and early 2023 contributing to a full-year £4.8m pre-tax loss.

In a statement today, the company said: “The production difficulties described in the first quarter trading update have not recurred, but the company has continued to experience individually small production disruptions that have slowed the ramp up in output. 

READ MORE: Surface Transforms unveils new CFO

“As previously described the shortage of overall capacity means that any stoppage in the quarter cannot be recovered in the quarter but will be recovered as the capacity comes on stream over the rest of the year.”

ST added that the installation of additional capacity at the Knowsley plant continues and it expects to have excess capacity over current demand in the final quarters 2023.

“We continue to anticipate the benefits from both this additional capacity and ongoing resolution of the production disruptions and therefore reiterate previous guidance for 2023 and 2024,” it said.

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